Quoting Lebanese sources, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported that Lebanon has adopted this evasive tactic two months ago to avoid the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act (HIFPA), which aims to sanction international financial institutions that knowingly facilitate Hezbollah’s activities.
The US bill seeks to “prevent Hezbollah’s global logistics and financial network from operating in order to curtail funding of its domestic and international activities,” and to “utilize diplomatic, legislative, and executive avenues to combat Hezbollah’s criminal activities in order to block that organization’s ability to fund its global terrorist activities.”
The powerful Banque du Liban (BDL), Lebanon’s central bank, has begun to shut down accounts linked to Hezbollah and Hezbollah-linked officials, and Riad Salameh, governor of Lebanon’s central bank, said that he will comply with the International Financing Prevention Act.
Al-Awsat also reported that Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing Daniel Glaser visited Lebanon on May 26-27 to discuss combating illicit finance.
During the visit, Glaser met with top Lebanese political and financial officials.
In his meetings, Glaser encouraged Lebanese authorities and financial institutions to continue their efforts to combat the threat of illicit finance and prevent attempts to evade US and international financial sanctions.
On the subject of the recently implemented HIFPA, Glaser explained that the law does not target Lebanon, nor does it target the Shi’ite community.
HIFPA strictly targets Hezballah’s financial activities worldwide, and will be implemented worldwide, according to media notice released by the US embassy in Beirut.
Hezbollah denounced the bill when it was passed by the Senate, describing the decision as a “crime” against it and all liberals in the world. It has since threatened Lebanese institutions with retaliation if they carry through with the implementation of the US law.
By: United with Israel Staff
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